When we established Luminate, it provided us with a rare opportunity to reflect not only on our mission and strategy but also on the new and different ways we could operate, support our partners, and maximise the impact of our resources.

Among other things, this meant taking stronger positions; advocating more directly for the issues and policies that underpin our work and that of our partners; and playing a more operational role in seeding, incubating, and launching new initiatives and organisations, which complement the work of our partners, fill gaps, and help advance nascent areas of work.

Where we take a more operational approach, we do so in partnership both with the organisations directly working on the issues, and with new and existing funders in order to expand and accelerate the work.

To this end, I am pleased to announce that after several months of planning and development, today we’re launching ‘Reset’ a new initiative in partnership with the Sandler Foundation. Reset will be run by Luminate and bring significant new resources and expertise to accelerating and expanding our work to tackle Digital Threats to Democracy - a key part of our wider Data & Digital Rights impact area.

Reset will operate internationally and focus on addressing the urgent crisis of how Big Tech companies – data aggregators, social platforms, and online media – expose the internet to unprecedented levels of hate speech, disinformation, and polarisation. It will both make grants and work alongside partners - governments, funders, civil society organisations, and technologists - on policy development and advocacy, research, technology projects, and civic engagement to ensure these companies work for democracy rather than against it.

Luminate’s Data & Digital Rights work remains focused on ensuring the rights of people and communities in the design and use of data and technology. The team will continue to be engaged in the important social issues around technological change, with a focus on open data, privacy, and automated decision-making in a variety of thematic areas such as social and economic justice, government surveillance, and public sector use of AI, using levers such as litigation, advocacy, storytelling, and new frameworks for rights-based governance. 

Reset will also be closely linked to Luminate’s Independent Media impact area because it will support policies that promote and support public service journalism, fact-checking, and broader public literacy about the role of media in democracy. 

The team will continue to collaborate closely with our colleagues within The Omidyar Group, including programmes at Omidyar Network and Democracy Fund that share areas of focus.

The mandate for Reset couldn’t come at a better time. Our democracies are under threat from the mis-use of the internet. But if we act now, we believe we can reset the rules and standards that shape how we experience the internet so it can once again be celebrated for enabling democratic movements, sparking collaboration, empowering the disadvantaged, and giving access to all human knowledge to anyone with a smartphone. We’re excited to see this work grow over the coming months.

You can find more about Reset on its website and Twitter.

Our mailing address is:
36-38 Hatton Garden
London EC1N 8EB

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